A vehicle enforcement operation is conducted June 14 on the...

A vehicle enforcement operation is conducted June 14 on the Henry Hudson Bridge that runs from the Bronx to Manhattan. Credit: MTA / Marc A. Hermann

Officers from an interagency task force designed to crack down on ghost vehicles and persistent toll violators issued more than 1,800 summonses and made 50 arrests in their most recent three operations, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Sunday.

Officers from the MTA, NYPD and several other law enforcement agencies also seized a total of 192 vehicles from three targeted operations across the Henry Hudson, Robert F. Kennedy, Willis Avenue, Third Avenue, Broadway and 181st Street Bridges.

“Making sure every driver pays their fair share is certainly a priority behind these enforcement operations but so is combating illegal ghost plate activity and identifying bad actors on the road, including discovering individuals who have committed serious crimes,” said MTA Bridges & Tunnels president Cathy Sheridan in a prepared statement.

The task force, which was launched in March, includes the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels, NYPD, Port Authority police, New York State police, state Department of Motor Vehicles and New York City Sheriff’s Office.

The scofflaws caught in the operation amassed $1.5 million in unpaid tolls and fees, judgments, and debts, according to the MTA. Law enforcement officers issued 1,809 summonses and made 50 arrests on June 14, 15 and 17.

The daily breakdown:

  • On June 14, an enforcement operation at the Henry Hudson and Broadway bridges resulted in 16 arrests, 59 seized vehicles and 758 summonses.
  • A June 15 operation at the RFK, Willis Avenue and Third Avenue bridges resulted in 19 arrests, 82 seized vehicles, and 583 summonses.
  • A June 17 operation at the Henry Hudson and 181st Street bridges resulted in 15 arrests, 51 seized vehicles and 468 summonses.

On June 14, Port Authority and NYPD officers on the George Washington Bridge arrested a 24-year-old man, who had numerous extraditable warrants out of Virginia for stolen motor vehicle offenses. The officers used license plate readers to identify a vehicle with a stolen license plate before investigating and concluding that plate and car were stolen in Virginia, in connection with a dealership fraud case.

The next day, NYPD officers were on foot when they attempted to stop a motorcyclist for a traffic offense on the Third Avenue Bridge. Officials said the motorcyclist accelerated to escape, lost control and struck a parked vehicle. Police arrested the man after a brief pursuit.

MTA officials said officers found a loaded 9 mm handgun in the man’s possession. Police said the man, who was not unidentified, was considered a person of interest in a 2005 shooting homicide in Brooklyn. Authorities said the “male felon” had “an extensive history with arrests for firearm possession and robbery.”

In 21 joint enforcement operations this year, law enforcement has seized 1,266 vehicles, made 276 arrests and issued 9,917 summonses.

In a statement Sunday evening, Port Authority Police Superintendent Edward Cetnar said, “The Port Authority, alongside our partners in this multi-agency task force, remains firm that toll cheats won't fly.”

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